Characterizing three dimensional (3-D) morphology of residential buildings by landscape metrics

Abstract

Context

The key attributes of landscape pattern include composition and configuration, which can be depicted by landscape/spatial metrics. An emerging pathway is leveraging vertical data to advance three-dimensional (3-D) spatial metrics to interpret landscape attributes and quantify 3-D patterns.

Objectives

We introduced a suite of spatial metrics to recognize 3-D morphological characteristics of residential communities and examine their temporal changes.

Methods

Seventeen 3-D spatial metrics were designed and computed at patch-, class-, and landscape-levels based on building footprints and height information in geographic information system (GIS). These metrics characterized 3-D forms of residential communities, including number, area, height, shape, and diversity. These 3-D features were further used to recognize five typical built types based on the scheme of local climate zone (LCZ) and quantify their 3-D morphological changes with rapid urbanization.

Results

The 3-D spatial metrics performed well in describing vertical and volumetric characteristics of residential communities and distinguishing five typical built types in Xiamen, China. Our results indicated that architectural styles of residential communities changed from homo- to mixed-rise buildings and from compact to open arrangement with rapid urbanization.

Conclusions

Both 2-D and 3-D features are key attributes of the landscape. Our results showed that 3-D spatial metrics were not only useful tools for quantifying surface patterns but also key complements to vertical feature characterization, offering advantages in representing urbanization over the existing indexes. Growing 3-D datasets have great potential to develop more valuable metrics for characterizing spatial features, capturing ecological processes, and understanding drivers in various landscape contexts.

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Fig. 1

(adapted from Stewart and Oke 2012) in Xiamen, China

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Acknowledgements

We thank the members of the Resources and Urban Sustainability group at the Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences for their suggestions on this study. Our study was funded by National Key Research and Development Program of Ministry of Science and Technology (2017YFC0505703); National Natural Science Foundation of China (41801222); Key Program of Frontier Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (QYZDB-SSW-DQC012); Fujian Foreign Cooperation Funding (2019I0031).

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All authors contributed to the study conception and design. CC and JL: Material preparation, data collection and clean were performed. YL: Data analysis was performed. YL and WC: The first draft of the manuscript was written, and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Wei-Qiang Chen.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Liu, Y., Chen, C., Li, J. et al. Characterizing three dimensional (3-D) morphology of residential buildings by landscape metrics. Landscape Ecol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-020-01084-8

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Keywords

  • Urban form
  • Spatial pattern
  • Spatial metric
  • Local climate zones (LCZs)
  • Remote sensing
  • Urban sustainability
  • High-resolution urban grids (HUGs)
  • Industrial ecology